A few weeks ago, SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan called out Nineties contemporaries, including SOUNDGARDEN, for cashing in with their reunion tours.
“There are those bands that are essentially coming back only to make money — playing their old albums, and maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they’re thinking there might be a future,” Corgan said at a press conference before a show in the Philippines.
He continued: “I am not in that business, obviously. I condemn anybody who’s in that business but doesn’t admit [he’s] in that business. When SOUNDGARDEN came back and they just played their old songs, great. I was a fan of SOUNDGARDEN, but call it for what it is. They’re just out there to have one more round at the till; same with PAVEMENT and these other bands.”
On Friday (August 31) Corgan appeared on the Channel 93.3 radio station in Denver, Colorado and explained his beef with SOUNDGARDEN. He said (hear audio below), “Well, there’s a little bit of a backstory there. [SOUNGARDEN singer] Chris Cornell was somebody I considered a friend, and would never have said a harsh word about.
“When [SMASHING PUMPKINS] came back in 2007, [Cornell] was quoted in an interview saying, basically, he didn’t consider our reunion, in quotations, to be ‘legitimate.’ So that’s something that’s… I kind of have an elephant’s memory when it comes to somebody punching me in the face.”
He continued, “Cornell‘s one of those people who is extremely talented. I was a fan from literally, I think, their second EP. I met them in 1991 and [I] still believe in what was great about the band. But when we’re sitting there having conversations about who is doing what, I am no longer gonna shield somebody. If they wanna punch me in the face, I’m happy to punch them back in the face. So, [I] respect the man’s talent. People gloss over the Timbaland album. [laughs] [Referring to Cornell‘s 2008 Timbaland-produced solo album, “Scream”, which bitterly divided fans over its urban pop sound — Ed.] You know what I mean?!
“My point is, look, I don’t have any specific bone to pick, although I just, obviously, made a case for one. My point is don’t lump us in with people who are sort of just doing the reunion lap. Now, of course, fans are lighting up my Twitter saying, ‘Do you realize SOUNDGARDEN is doing a new album?’ OK, well, if they are, great. That’s what they should be doing. [They are] great musicians, [and] they should make new music, and hopefully they’ll make great albums, because we need artists to make great albums and great music in this day and age of the robots and the posers and, you know, the ‘faux hawk’ bands.”
Corgan concluded, “Does it make sense? Do I sound like a fan? ‘Cause I am a fan. . . I want all of my generation to raise the bar. And I don’t appreciate it when somebody from my generation, who I once considered a friend, decides to piss on my little spot in the corner, for whatever reason, right around the same time he’s making the Timbaland album. You know what I mean?! That’s where it gets kind of dicey for me. So that’s sort of the real backstory of where that came from.”